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February 2009 Briefing - Pathology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for February 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Guidelines for Prevention of Rheumatic Fever Updated

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Prevention of rheumatic fever relies on proper identification and treatment of the bacteria responsible, with penicillin being the preferred treatment, according to updated guidelines published online Feb. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Genetic Variants Predict Survival in Pancreatic Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with resectable pancreatic cancer, mismatch repair gene polymorphisms may be significantly associated with clinical outcomes, according to a report published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Gene Mutation Linked to Higher Risk of Colon Cancer Death

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in a gene involved in promoting cell growth increase the risk of cancer-specific death in patients with colon cancer, and the increased risk appears to depend on the absence of mutations in another cancer-promoting gene, according to research published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Age, Treatment Predictive of Leukemia Prognosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Complete response, time to treatment failure and overall survival are useful outcomes for developing new prognostic models for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Novel Drugs May Help Prevent Cerebral Palsy

THURSDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk pregnancies, the use of selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase inhibitors could help prevent cerebral palsy, according to research published online Feb. 20 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Gene Mutations Linked to Premature Ovarian Failure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the NR5A1 gene may be a cause of ovarian insufficiency, according to research published online Feb. 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug-Resistant Meningitis Present in North America

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Ciprofloxacin-resistant meningitis has appeared in North America, although the bacteria remain susceptible to other antibiotics, according to a report in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Rapid Communication of Breast Biopsy Results Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Uncertainty while awaiting a final diagnosis following a large-core breast biopsy is associated with an abnormal salivary cortisol profile, indicative of biochemical distress, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Osteopontin May Be Heart Risk Factor in Psoriasis Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Circulating osteopontin -- a glycophosphoprotein secreted by epithelial and many other cell types -- may be a cardiovascular risk factor in individuals with psoriasis, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.

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US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.

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Antibodies May Offer New Flu Immunization Approach

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Specific antibodies directed against proteins involved in viral fusion with a host cell recognize multiple influenza A hemagglutinin subtypes, including avian H5 and pandemic H1 viruses, suggesting a promising approach for a universal influenza treatment or vaccine, according to research published online Feb. 22 in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

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Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Use On The Rise

FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- During recent years, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy has become a more commonly used treatment in women with ductal carcinoma in situ, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Combo Blood Pressure-Lowering Regimen Good for Kidneys

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A blood pressure-lowering treatment strategy of perindopril-indapamide may prevent renal dysfunction in some patients with type 2 diabetes, regardless of baseline blood pressure level, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Genetic Variants Associated with Blood Pressure Variations

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic variants at the NPPA-NPPB locus may influence hypertension due to effects on natriuretic peptide concentrations, according to research published online Feb. 15 in Nature Genetics.

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Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Abstract - Glickman
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Pharmacogenetic Algorithm Improves Warfarin Dosage

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A pharmacogenetic dosing algorithm for warfarin is better able to predict the stable therapeutic dose, providing a basis for a larger clinical trial to test the efficacy of these algorithms, according to research published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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IDH1, IDH2 Mutations Linked to Malignant Glioma

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase genes IDH1 and IDH2 appear to play a role in the pathogenesis of malignant gliomas, according to research published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Possible Risk of Herpes Zoster with Anti-TNF-α Therapy

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Monoclonal antibodies directed against tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a class of drugs that treat a variety of systemic inflammatory diseases, are associated with an increased risk of herpes zoster, according to research published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gene Linked to Lower Survival in Colorectal Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer patients whose lymph nodes are histologically negative but produce a marker of lymph node metastasis have an earlier time to recurrence and lower disease-free survival, researchers report in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Incidence of ICU MRSA Infections Declining

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) central line-associated bloodstream infections has decreased over recent years in most intensive care units (ICUs), according to research published Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genetic Research Finds Evidence of Heart-Related Risks

MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have uncovered a number of genetic factors that may be associated with risk of coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction, according to five studies published online Feb. 8 in Nature Genetics.

Abstract - Erdmann
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Abstract - Tregouet
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Abstract - Ozaki
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Abstract - Gudbjartsson
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Abstract - Myocardial Infarction Genetics Consortium
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Sequencing Advances Help Crack Code of Human Rhinoviruses

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Newly completed genomic sequences of the human rhinovirus may lead to the first effective treatments for the common cold, according to a study published online ahead of print Feb. 12 in Science.

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Breast Cancer Risk Raised in Hodgkin's Disease Survivors

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Women who survived Hodgkin's disease as children have a 37-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer than women in the general population, particularly bilateral disease, according to study findings published in the September issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology - Biology - Physics.

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Surrogate Endpoints Found for Prostate Cancer Survival

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Distant metastasis and general clinical treatment failure three years after prostate cancer treatment are effective surrogate endpoints for survival at 10 years, according to a report published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Genetic Variants Linked to Higher Risk of Thyroid Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Two common genetic variants appear to be associated with an increased risk of papillary and follicular thyroid cancer, according to research published online Feb. 6 in the journal Nature Genetics.

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Protein Critical for Action of Thyroid Cancer Drug

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A cellular protein is a critical mediator in the signaling pathway of a drug that inhibits the growth of thyroid cancer cells, according to a report published online Feb. 10 in Cancer Research.

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Thrombolysis Window May Be Longer Than Thought

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute stroke may have a diffusion-perfusion mismatch after nine hours of stroke onset, particularly those with proximal arterial occlusion, suggesting the treatment window for stroke may be extended in some cases, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Agencies Must Do More to Prevent Foodborne Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. agencies responsible for food safety must take steps to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness such as the current Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter products, according to a perspective published online Feb. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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B-Cell Clones Often Present Before Leukemia Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia are preceded by monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis, which affects roughly 4 percent of individuals over the age of 50, according to research published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Additional Drug Improves Survival in Early Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Tamoxifen or anastrozole treatment of premenopausal women with endocrine-responsive early breast cancer leads to similar rates of disease-free survival, which is improved by additional treatment with zoledronic acid, according to a report in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Protein, Receptor May Play Role in Rheumatoid Inflammation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Placenta growth factor (PlGF) may promote inflammation and angiogenesis in joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but not healthy joints, according to research published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Mutations Linked to Family Members Prone to Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with germline mutations in the p53 gene, which increases cancer risk, have at least one family member with one of four "core" cancers, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Maternal Obesity Linked to Birth Defects

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to children whose mothers are normal weight, those with obese mothers may be at higher risk of congenital anomalies, according to study findings published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Corticosteroid Use Associated with Pneumonia in COPD

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term inhaled corticosteroid use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia, though without a significantly higher risk of pneumonia-related death, according to a review article published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Mediterranean Diet Benefits Cognitive Function in Elderly

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In cognitively normal older adults, adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a modestly reduced risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and in older adults who already have mild cognitive impairment, adherence to the diet is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a report published in the February issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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FDA OKs Drug Produced Using Genetically Engineered Goats

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a product that is produced using genetically engineered animals, according to a release issued by the agency.

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RFA May Offer Benefit in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may provide better three-year overall survival for patients with small hepatocellular carcinomas compared with percutaneous ethanol injection, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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ASCO Guide Addresses High Costs of Cancer Care

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Communication between patients and their doctors regarding the high cost of cancer care may be improved with the Feb. 5 release of a new patient guide from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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CDC Analyzes Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread outbreaks of Salmonella infections that hospitalized 116 patients and may have contributed to the deaths of eight people were traced to peanut butter and peanut paste used in other products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America at its factory in Blakely, Ga., according to a report published in the Feb. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Capn4 Linked to Metastasis and Invasion in Liver Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Overexpression of calpain small subunit 1 (Capn4) appears to play a role in invasion and metastasis following liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Mutations Found in Nonsyndromic Mental Retardation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the SYNGAP1 gene, encoding a ras GTPase-activating protein, occur in patients with nonsyndromic mental retardation but not other conditions of mental retardation, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hormonal Therapy Link to Breast Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A decline in the use of combined hormone therapy appears responsible for a decreased incidence of breast cancer among women, according to research published Feb. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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RSV Causes High Morbidity Among Children

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News)-- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a substantial cause of morbidity among U.S. children, affecting not just high-risk but also previously healthy children, according to a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Early Childhood Stress Linked to Weakened Immune System

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A stressful early childhood impairs the long-term function of the immune system, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Renal Failure, Contrast Agent Linked to Systemic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Awareness of risk factors involved in the suspected link between nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) and gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) may help clinicians reduce the risk of this condition in patients, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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Diabetes, Heart Disease Raise Coronary Event Risk in HIV

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both diabetes mellitus and pre-existing coronary heart disease (CHD) are associated with an increased risk of a CHD event in individuals with HIV, indicating the need for diabetes screening in this population, according to research published online Feb. 2 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Perfluorinated Chemicals Linked to Reduced Fertility

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- At exposures common in developed countries, the perfluorinated chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) may reduce a woman's ability to reproduce and increase the time needed to become pregnant, according to research published online Jan. 28 in Human Reproduction.

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Stem Cell Transplantation Shows Benefit in MS

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Autologous non-myeloablative hemopoietic stem cell transplantation may prevent neurological progression and improve neurological disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to research published online Jan. 30 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Footballers at Risk for Drug-Resistant Staph Infections

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Poor hygiene, skin injuries and living in close proximity to teammates contributed to an outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in 2007 among members of a high school football team, according to a report published in the Jan. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Physician's Briefing
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